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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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FAA Ban on Flights to Israel ‘Worse than BDS’

The FAA's standards for determining whether a U.S. flag carrier can fly to every other spot in the world are apparently different from -- and more accommodating to travel than -- the standard the United States has applied to Israel for the last 48 hours.
U.S. President Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Absent those two militarily sophisticated enemies of the United States, Israel’s is the only airport on which a categorical ban has been placed.

What about other violent settings around the world? Every single one has merely a “should avoid” safety warning. That’s true for Syria, for Iraq, for Iran, for Yemen and for the Sinai Peninsula.

Dyer pointed out that when she served in the U.S. military in Bosnia-Herzogovina in the 1990′s, when it was an official war zone, the FAA refrained from issuing a U.S. flight ban.

Why would that be? If the FAA is so concerned about the air safety of American citizens, how come there is no flight ban on Afghanistan or Pakistan?

The answer, according to Dyer, is commerce.

A primary, if not the primary, relationship the U.S. has with most countries is commerce. A travel ban to any nation cuts off that commercial relationship in a profound way. The FAA is tasked with ensuring the safety of American citizens, but a central concern is also the continuation of relationships between nations.

And that is why Dyer finds it inconceivable that the FAA would take such an anomolous step without close consultation with the State Department and with the White House.

“The FAA simply does not have the latitude to do this by itself,” Dyer explained. As she explained in a must-read article about the ban, the decision either did come directly from the White House, or was approved by the president. Or if it wasn’t, it should have been.

Cutting off her commercial airport from U.S. carriers is inherently a presidential-level decision, and Obama is responsible whether he made it or not,” Dyer wrote.

“I was shocked when I heard about the flight ban on Israel,” Dyer said.

There are several glaring distinctions between the action taken by the FAA with respect to its ban on U.S. flights into and out of Israel and other actions it has taken when local hostilities create a security concern for the government entity responsible for air traffic and safety.

There are, unfortunately, quite a few places around the globe right now where violent conflicts are taking place in proximity to airports. Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, the Sinai Peninsula, Yemen and the Ukraine spring immediately to mind. In fact, there has been a civil war raging in Syria for three years now, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. The FAA has yet to issue a single total ban on U.S. flights to Syria. The same is true in Iraq. And in both of those last two countries, at least one of the combatants have and have used surface to air missiles.

In Pakistan, the situation is even worse. Within a thirty day period there have been multiple attacks on commercial airports, one in Peshawar and another on the airport in Karachi. And yet, U.S. airlines continue to fly into and out of both the Peshawar and Karachi airports, with merely a simple safety warning from the FAA.

On June 24, just a month ago, A Pakistani Taliban offshoot attacked an A310 Airbus as it landed at the Peshawar airport. The attack was launched from the roof of a nearby school. One passenger was killed and three crew members were injured. And in the Karachi attack, nearly a dozen Taliban terrorists stormed the airport with the intention of maintaining a long siege.

No ban on U.S. flights into Pakistan.

So, there goes the safety concern. It isn’t irrational for a government agency to seek to limit the dangers its citizens may encounter abroad. But it is something approaching irrational – and it may even be worse than that – for a government agency to respond so strongly, so completely and so swiftly over a relatively minor incident when wars being waged on a regular basis around other airports, and direct attacks on airports and efforts to hold hostages in airports result in far more lackadaisical responses.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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40 Responses to “FAA Ban on Flights to Israel ‘Worse than BDS’”

  1. Mike Burke says:

    It rewards terrorism.

  2. Knate Stahl says:

    Obama has shown he supports the Hamas terrorists and supports Hamas’s aim to destroy the state of Israel.

  3. Better then whining when a plane is shot down -

  4. Lisa Zweigle says:

    To prevent Jews from fleeing back to Israel…

  5. Uzi Kattan says:

    Cheap shot at Israel.

  6. David Cohen says:

    Lisa Zweigle, they can take El Al. They have better security and the money goes to Israel.

  7. British Airways is still flying. We should thank them.

  8. Sherry Perry says:

    BECAUSE HE HATES ISRAEL AS MUCH AS HE HATES AMERICA. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SEE AND NOW HE IS USING THE FAA TO RUIN ISRAEL. BUT KERRY CAN FLY AN AMERICAN PLANE SO IT HAS GOT TO STOP HE HAS GOT TO BE STOPPED PERIOD. LEAVE ISRAEL ALONE THEY HAVE NO ONE AND THEY ARE DOING WHAT THEY KNOW IS RIGHT AND FIND THOSE TUNNELS AND AMMO GOD BLESS ISRAEL. AMEN

  9. Sherry Perry says:

    BECAUSE HE HATES ISRAEL AS MUCH AS HE HATES AMERICA. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SEE AND NOW HE IS USING THE FAA TO RUIN ISRAEL. BUT KERRY CAN FLY AN AMERICAN PLANE SO IT HAS GOT TO STOP HE HAS GOT TO BE STOPPED PERIOD. LEAVE ISRAEL ALONE THEY HAVE NO ONE AND THEY ARE DOING WHAT THEY KNOW IS RIGHT AND FIND THOSE TUNNELS AND AMMO GOD BLESS ISRAEL. AMEN

  10. Lina Soifer says:

    Fly EL AL, even after the ban is lifted. Take a stand, besides it’s the safest airline in the world!

  11. Lina Soifer says:

    Fly EL AL, even after the ban is lifted. Take a stand, besides it’s the safest airline in the world!

  12. Islam is not a religion. It is the world’s biggest death cult!

  13. Islam is not a religion. It is the world’s biggest death cult!

  14. Islam is not a religion. It is the world’s biggest death cult!

  15. Sobriety Jon says:

    Prophet Mohammed is swimming in the lake of fire

  16. Sobriety Jon says:

    Prophet Mohammed is swimming in the lake of fire

  17. Sobriety Jon says:

    Islam is the true face of satanism not even illuminati

  18. Patti Smart says:

    Obama want to help Hamas any way possible.

  19. Patti Smart says:

    Obama want to help Hamas any way possible.

  20. This is not at all good.

  21. This is not at all good.

  22. Stupid anti-semitic people.

  23. Stupid anti-semitic people.

  24. Stupid anti-semitic people.

  25. Obomba you evil SWINE

  26. Leo Nathan says:

    Obama who are you spporting, It is clear YOu are with HAMAS.

  27. Lina Soifer says:

    Just so u know. I don’t hate you like you hate me. But it was an accidental request don’t worry.

  28. That **** in White House is a disaster

  29. Rite on Richard Advincula democratic party wishes to kill each and everyone of us

  30. Lina Soifer you scared the pee pee out of him he did not want to get his butt kicked by another woman specially by a woman who didn’t cover her face

  31. Eti Nemes says:

    I alway like to fly with elal they are the best

  32. Good Job American you vote Him

  33. A warning about ‘so called’ allies for the future. Americans like to help if you only do as they say, democracy?

  34. Islam is a political religion to control his Nation and to have a vision to conguer the whole world thats why womans are not allowed to marry anybody, except only if you are a muslim also.. and one is, if they want to marry, they have to buy it..

  35. Lynne Horner says:

    This P.Obama is so arrogant He believes he is above God.

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